Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!



Ask Slashdot: What Would It Take For You To Buy a Smartwatch?

SpaceGhost Ruggedized outdoor watch (427 comments)

While I can use my Note2 for all things digital, I still wear a watch quite often, a Casio G-Shock. The main feature that it has that keeps it on my wrist is the compass, although I use the alarm and timers more often.
I would like to see what the email/text/whatever is that I just got so I can decide if I need to read it now or later. I would like to have biometrics like pedometer, pulse, etc. Customizable watch faces are a must. Working with the phone GPS to display waypoint direction would be great.
Has to have GREAT battery life, it would be awesome to have solar like my current watch. I would turn off some of the features to get better battery life.
MUST be water/shock resistant.
My last smartwatch, a Timex Datalink, had some neat features, like being able to upload a days worth of MSExchange appointments. This endeared it to the astronaut crowd. It had some neat apps available too, but it wasn't rugged enough, and mine didn't alarm so I stopped wearing it.
If Casio or Suunto come out with a smartwatch version of their "adventure" watches they would probably qualify, but I wouldn't want to spend more than $200, so I'm figuring it will be 2-3 years at least for this feature/market intersection.

about 2 months ago

Google Hit With Antitrust Lawsuit Over Default Search on Android Phones

SpaceGhost Re:And that's why a GNU/Linux phone needs to happe (221 comments)

There are at least two AOSP flavours that offer nightly updates, Cyanogenmod and Omnirom. The slow updates on android are usually because the carriers want to lock you in to their set of apps/restrictions/spyware and insist on vetting updates. My t-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 has been running KitKat 4.4.2 for months, no thanks to T-Mobile. I would love to see a good GNU/Linux phone option. Maybe OpenBSD, where you make calls with a CLI...

about 4 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

SpaceGhost Re:Not much (531 comments)

For very simple work the FOSS Avidemux is quite nice.

about 6 months ago

Ask Slashdot: What Software Can You Not Live Without?

SpaceGhost Re:Reposting/Fixing My List (531 comments)

Most of the above (thanks for the tip on Greenshot, since Printkey2000 doesnt work on Win7.)
Ultraedit is great but I'm hoping to do the same kind of scripting in Notepad++.
Firefox with noscript, adblock, request policy, ghostery, https everywhere, mobile barcoder, pluggin toggler and self-destructing cookies and a few others.
I have Keepass on my cpu and android phone.
Whatever anti-virus Im currently using (Webroot for the moment)

FileMenu Tools - various file utilities accessible via right-click in explorer, includes shredding and an excellent file renaming utility
CutePDF - lightweight PDF printer
CDRTFE - excellent open source optical media burner
RichCopy - Microsofts GUI replacement for robocopy, highly configurable and multithreaded
BareGrep - very light GREP search tool, doesnt require indexes, searches filename and content, quite fast.
MenuApp - make my own pop-up menus in the taskbar
Hotswap - enhanced control of storage devices
Jacksum - great hasher accessible via "send-to", Hashtab also works
Rainmeter because i hate not knowing what my computer is doing, Samurize when I need to monitor more than one CPU
PrismHUD for the same reason

and Audacity (and Lame), GIMP, Inkscape, Foobar2000, Foxit reader, RawTherapee.

about 6 months ago

A 'Smart' Bathroom Mirror Powered by Android (Video)

SpaceGhost It has potential (71 comments)

I'm surprised at the overwhelmingly negative commentary on this story. I think it has potential, here's why.

In my current morning routine, I wake up to a clock radio tuned to NPR while my server turns on the stereo so I can hear NPR in the bathroom. I check my phone to see if there are any fires at work that need to be addressed, then to the bathroom where as I shave and shower I listen for news, traffic and weather. The local NPR is quite mediocre, so even if I hear the traffic and weather I dont always get the info I need. After my shower I get dressed and go. I do NOT typically turn on any kind of display, viewing that as a slow process, but if it's flooding, the radio mentions a bad accident, or there were fires I may turn on my winbox or a tablet, or just address it on the phone.

With a device like this I would go into the bathroom to see weather with animated radar, the traffic map from the county, and could be streaming the local NPR. I might even check an email on occasion. If traffic looks bad I could email from something larger than my phone. I would be able to set both the shower and sink to the temp I like as a preset so I wouldnt have to take the time to check, adjust, wait, so after shaving the electric razor gets rinsed and straight into a right temp shower. Since my house is older and the hot water has to get there I could save water if it reduced the flow at the right temp. If I get a phone call while in the bathroom I can see the callerid and route the call as desired, or answer it. If someone comes to the door I can view the front door camera, maybe even talk to them. I could view my agenda for the day and reminders of things I need to take. This makes sense because most of the morning routine aside from getting dressed is spent in the bathroom.

I can see where this would be a productivity enhancer. It won't get me out of the house faster, but could reduce water consumption and significantly enhance the quality of my day. I dont know if I want the specific device in the OP, but as i already have a "smart" home the functionality makes sense. Most people may not, but then most people dont have a house that turns lights and media on and off based on rules. Some technologies that I have implemented in the past ended up not making sense, i.e. controlling the outside lights based on time or rules, when a simple photocell does what I need and is more reliable. I think technology can be helpful, and some kind of terminal in the bathroom could be quite helpful.

Knee jerk reactions and superior airs do little to advance technology. Maybe some of the whiners dont have computers at home because they dont need to spend quality home time on the internet. Maybe electric lights offend their sensibilities where a proper gas light would have that perfect glow. In any case I do look for meaningful ways to add useful technology and information to my life. Yes there are risks, ooh, someone might see my butt. But if I can make it secure I will, at least as secure as one of my 3 tablets, two laptops, two cpus and smartphone. They contain risks but I still use them.Ten years ago people scoffed at my Palm phone and ridiculed my Newton, three years ago they wondered why I bought a tablet. Now almost everyone I know have smartphones and tablets. I've already built panels using rainmeter and samurize to monitor local conditions as well as multiple cpus, so I know what kind of info would be useful. And frankly the idea of leaving a video "good morning", "I love you", or "dont forget to..." message for someone that wakes at a different time could be quite keen. Both the bathroom and the kitchen could benefit from task-specific technology. Hell I even have an old laptop in my shop to I can look up procedures in the service manuals or do calculations.

So maybe not this one, but probably eventually.

about 9 months ago

Ask Slashdot: MMORPG Recommendations?

SpaceGhost Firefall is nice (555 comments)

Ive been enjoying Firefall recently. It's an MMO FPS with a complicated craft system. You run around in specialized battleframes and gain resources and xp through a variety of tasks, from mining to random encounters to special missions to outright invasions. It's in beta right now, free to play, and so far paying just gets you a few bennies for those in a hurry. I did pay $25 so I could get a motorcycle and a gliderpad, based on how much I enjoyed playing the first few days, but I could have worked to get the resources and build the bike.

about 9 months ago

20-Somethings Think It's OK To Text and Answer Calls In Business Meetings

SpaceGhost Re:I call BS (453 comments)

I have to agree. Very few meetings would keep me from monitoring my email, being a tech lead you have to keep on top of things, and the excuse "well,I was in a meeting" means nothing if the department has lost connectivity. Monitoring or responding to social communications is not included, and even a call from the CEO would be taken outside the room. The balance is are you being responsive to your positions demands vs. ignoring them and being involved in non-work conversations, while being able to participate in the meeting so as to contribute as appropriate and retain or record information as needed.

about 10 months ago

Students Hijack $80 Million Superyacht With GPS Spoofing

SpaceGhost This just in... (75 comments)

Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead.

about a year ago

Texas' 500 Executions Visualized

SpaceGhost Not the first female, but good site (1 comments)

Karla Faye Tucker's execution in 1998 was opposed internationally. Per Wikipedia ( ),

"Among those who appealed to the State of Texas on her behalf were Bacre Waly Ndiaye, the United Nations commissioner on summary and arbitrary executions; the World Council of Churches; Pope John Paul II; Italian Prime Minister Romano Prodi; the Speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives Newt Gingrich; televangelist Pat Robertson; and Ronald Carlson, the brother of Tucker's murder victim Debbie Thornton."
"Tucker gained international attention because she would be the first woman to be executed in Texas since the Civil War and the first in the United States since 1984."

And our illustrious governor, George W. Bush, chose not to pardon her, despite every indication that she had been reformed.

As for the site, it does a good job of giving perspective. It's solemnly interesting to see the breakdowns, statements, etc. Interface is a bit rough though, you have to scroll down and it isn't apparent that you need to.

about a year ago

Gerry Anderson, Co-Creator of Thunderbirds, Dies

SpaceGhost Don't forget "UFO" (129 comments)

Just as good in many ways as "Space:1999" (which I also loved) was his 1969 series "UFO", which combined live action with some of the sci-fi puppetry from the Thunderbirds. It was dark and foreboding, centered on a secret government agency in an active war against recurring alien incursions, and you had the feeling that "we" were just at the edge of losing. It included an AI satellite which spoke with an English accent and a moonbase "manned" by women in purple hair and short skirts, one of the very few silly parts of an otherwise very serious drama. It seems to have influenced MIB in more ways than one; one of the secret organizations' special tools was a spray that took away ones recent memories, used on witnesses after debriefing, a tool re-incarnated as the "flashy-thing".
Gerry was quite the visionary, and certainly influenced this old slashdotter.

about a year and a half ago

US Navy Cruiser and Submarine Collide

SpaceGhost Re:Uh... (236 comments)

Submarines are largely blind. Sure, they can hear the ship over there, but they dont have a cool 3d augmented reality app that the captain/helmsman use to drive. Even if they were doing an underhull survey, where you raise the periscope and carefully view/photograph a ship from below, you're not that likely to be able to avoid hitting the other ship, as wave motion makes that kind of fine control impossible. Subs are military ships, and are expected to put themselves into harms way, and just like the army has live-fire exercises and really practice jumping out of helicopters, the subs have to practice crazy stuff so they can do it in theater. And yes, sometimes, and more often they you hear about, they run into things. They may not even know in Control, it may take someone in Engine Room Upper Level Aft to call and say "hey, you know we just hit something, right?" And no, no captain in charge of a modern sub is going to play grab-ass with anyone or anything, they dont have utter disdain for the surface fleet, they have an intense focus on the safety of their and the other crew, as well as a dedication to mission capability that sometimes leads to these events. Try surfacing in a hurricane - no, really, it's a blast, but if you cant try to do it then, how do you know you wont freak out when depth charges start going off?
Someone will be relieved of duty over this one, training will be promulgated throughout the fleet, and it was almost certainly the subs fault.
And yes, I've seen all of this personally, It's a lot of fun to come back into port as the sub that ran into the surface pukes...

about 2 years ago

Android Phones More Prone To Hardware Problems

SpaceGhost Re:wtf ? (220 comments)

Exactly. Compare to Win6/6.5 and you'd get lots of mediocre phones. I've had about equally poor results with 2 Win6 phones and my G1, oddly enough all made by HTC. So who funded this study?

more than 3 years ago

Escalating Gmail/Spamming Attacks

SpaceGhost Almost, but not really (139 comments)

As soon as I read this I went to my account, and saw a lot of mobile activity from California. I freaked! Then I had a thought - so I went to my WM6 cell phone and had it synchronize with gmail. Aha! I knew it - my cell phone is really in California. (And some mobile activity may be legit, and the state may be wrong, as I'm in Texas, T-Mobile must route it out there.)

more than 4 years ago

Texas Appliance-For-Clunkers Rebate Site Spanked

SpaceGhost Update:All Gone (1 comments)

An Update from the OP - all $23 million are called for. The Houston Chronicle reports that it was all gone by 2:35P.M. CDT. Other interesting comments in the report include the rebate program hitting the top search in Google, and for a time 75% of all hits were from one IP address.

more than 4 years ago

Bing Gaining Market Share Faster

SpaceGhost Re:Of course (406 comments)

I had an error with installing an Exchange Certificate on a winmo smartphone. I was surprised to find a google search returned no hits from M$ itself, but when I switched to bing, it worked. It seems that M$ is blocking google from searching it's site. Then after installing XP on another computer, and updating everything (since she wouldnt) I found that in the newest IE I couldnt use google as my search, the "easy" way of adding it was gone. So sure, M$ still knows how to play the game. I didn't see anything that made bing better though, and with the Search Cloudlet firefox extension I see no reason to change, although apparently there will be times when I will have no choice.

more than 4 years ago

A Mobile Phone Mesh That Can Survive Carrier Network Failure

SpaceGhost similar post after 9/11 (131 comments)

This posting on Slashdot from October 4th 2001 really hit home, describing a "P2P SMS technique where individual handsets act as autonomous SMS relays". And why can't we do this? Would it require independance from cell carriers? With wednesdays report to congress on the failure to upgrade the Integrated Public Alert and Warning System, maybe we do need an ad-hoc alternative.
  (After feeling useless after 9/11 the October 2001 post got me thinking. By the end of November 2001 I had my first ham radio license, now I'm and Extra class and now when something happens I've usually been at an EOC, although the last couple of years have been supporting Red Cross.)

more than 4 years ago



Google notifies police of child pornography in email, suspect arrested

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  about a month ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "KHOU, the CBS affiliate in Houston, Texas reports that after Google detected an explicit image of a young girl in a users email they reported it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which led to his arrest. Google did not respond to questions the reporter asked about this use of their technology, and the article does not make clear if it was a gmail account."
Link to Original Source

Texas Sheriffs crash $300k drone they're not supposed to be flying

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  about 4 months ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "The Montgomery County (Texas) Police Reporter reveals that Friday morning a $300K drone was lost by the Sheriffs department in Lake Conroe (just north of Houston.) Divers were searching for the drone, which at 29 pounds is 4 pounds over a recent FAA limit, so shouldn't have been flying. The article goes on to discuss the recently passed Texas Legislature House Bill 912 which restricts the use of drones to observe private property, likely influenced by the January 2012 discovery of illegal pig blood runoff and subsequent indictment."
Link to Original Source

Feds announce test sites for drone aircraft

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  about 7 months ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "The Associated Press reports "The Federal Aviation Administration announced six states on Monday that will develop test sites for drones, a critical next step for the march of the unmanned aircraft into U.S. skies". The sites will be in Alaska, Nevada, New York, North Dakota, Texas and Virginia. They quote Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx saying "These test sites will give us valuable information about how best to ensure the safe introduction of this advanced technology into our nation's skies". This is a first step to allowing commercial drone use."
Link to Original Source

Houston Expands Downtown Surveilance, Unsure If It Helps

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  about 8 months ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "Associated Press reports that the Houston (Texas) Police will be adding 180 surveillance cameras in the downtown area, bring the total to close to 1000. While most cover public areas (stadiums, theater district) the police suggest that Houston also has more "critical infrastructure" (energy companies) than other cities. Interestingly AP points out that "Officials say data is not kept to determine if the cameras are driving down crime." Didn't London face the same issue?"
Link to Original Source

Japans new rocket has onboard AI

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  about a year ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "Sky News reports that the Japanese Space Agency (JAXA) has launched an orbital telescope on a new generation rocket from the Uchinoura Space Centre in Kagoshima, in southwestern Japan. The Epsilon rocket uses an onboard AI for autonomous launch checks by the rocket itself. Focusing on reducing costs, the new vehicle required 2 laptops and a launch team of 8, vs the 150 people needed to launch the previous platform, the M-5. Because of the reduced launch team and ease of construction, production and launch costs of the Epsilon are roughly half of the M-5. The payload, a SPRINT-A telescope, is designed for planetary observation."
Link to Original Source

USPS to launch line of smart clothing

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  about a year and a half ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "The Washington Post reports that the United States Postal Service has contracted with Wahconah Group, Inc. to produce a line of USPS branded smart clothing. Per USPS Licensing manager Steven Mills “This agreement will put the Postal Service on the cutting edge of functional fashion... The main focus will be to produce Rain Heat & Snow apparel and accessories using technology to create ‘smart apparel’ — also known as wearable electronics.” USPS Spokesman Roy Betts reports that the line will be found in premium department stores and specialty stores starting in 2014. The Washington Post points out that the USPS had done a similar retail line in the 1980s sold exclusively at Post Offices, but the line was discontinued after lobbyists complained of competition with the private sector"
Link to Original Source

DIY Skimmers

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  more than 3 years ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "NBC Affiliate KPRC-TV in Houston reports that Federal fraud charges have been filed against four men who attached skimmers to Chase bank ATMS throughout Houston. The skimmers were of a newer design, harder to detect and manufactured using a 3d printer purchased with stolen money."
Link to Original Source

Info of 3.5 million Texans was publicly accessible

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  more than 3 years ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "The Houston Chronicle reports "Personal information of about 3.5 million Texans — including names, mailing addresses and Social Security numbers — was posted on a publicly accessible server at the state comptroller's office, much of it for more than a year" The records included retired teachers and the unemployed, and sometimes included DOB and drivers license numbers."
Link to Original Source

Texas Appliance-For-Clunkers Rebate Site Spanked

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "The Texas Trade Up Appliance Rebate Program is the state implementation of $23 million in federal stimulus funds from the U.S. Department of Energy to establish and administer an Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program. In a debacle I fully expected, the rebate application website opened for applications at 7:00A.M CDT and promptly drowned. Per their Twitter feed (aptly named TX Powerful Smart) they claim that "We’ve had 19.5 million hits from more than 105K unique IPs as of 10:15a." and "We’re getting 1,700 Web hits per second and about 1,000 calls per minute.". As of 11:00A.M. CDT the website is unavailable. Best statement yet: "We’re still experiencing unprecedented response to the reservation Web site and phone lines that is impacting access." What precedent? Can this kind of response still be a surprise in 2010?"
Link to Original Source

Texas Teen arrested for online harassment

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "San Antonio, TX: KENS5 Reporter James Muñoz reports that police have arrested a 16-year-old girl on charges of harassment under a new Texas law that took effect September 1, 2009. H.B. 2003 says a person commits a third degree felony if the person posts one or more messages on a social networking site with the intent to harm, defraud, intimidate or threaten another person. Police say the harassment went on for a few months and involved a dispute over a boy."
Link to Original Source

Did Cooking Make Us Human?

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SpaceGhost writes "Anthropologist Richard Wrangham, author of "Catching Fire: How Cooking Made Us Human" suggests that the discovery of cooked food led to evolutionary changes resulting in a smaller and different digestive system based on a higher quality diet, mainly relying on cooked meat. In an interview on NPR's Science Friday (text and audio) Professor Wrangham explores concepts such as the digestive costs of food, the benefits (or lack thereof) of raw diets, and a distinct preference in Great Apes for cooked food over raw."
Link to Original Source

Student design cardboard computer case aimed at su

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "The Houston Chronicle has a story on a Grad student at the University of Houston who has designed a cardboard case for a computer. This is not a new concept, but this one is meant to be used in manufacture. The idea is that it will be faster and easier to produce (no fasteners for example) and dramatically easier to recycle. With computers having such short lifespans nowadays, could this be a good direction to move towards? Or will overclockers burn their house down?
"This isn't built to last",HoustonChronicle,20090917"

Link to Original Source

Accused killer ask for online media users IDs

SpaceGhost SpaceGhost writes  |  more than 4 years ago

SpaceGhost (23971) writes "According to the Houston Chronicle, the Attorney for a Texas man charged in the death of a four-year-old "has asked several local media outlets to provide the names of readers and listeners who commented about his client online", stating that his client "was struck by the conclusions people drew about his client and the specificity of some comments that made it appear they came from people with personal knowledge of the case." Media outlets who have been subpoenaed include The Houston Chronicle, the Conroe Courier, KHOU (Houston area Channel 11, CBS affiliate) and KTRK (Houston area Channel 13, ABC affiliate)."

Link to Original Source


SpaceGhost has no journal entries.

Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>